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Treatment

 
Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 1 - Introduction

Treatment Introduction
In recent years, due to earlier detection and more effective treatments, many women diagnosed with breast cancer overcome the disease and go on to live healthy lives.

Treatment Options Recommended By Your Health Care Provider
It’s important to understand the different types of treatment options available to you, because you are an integral part of your decision-making team. Your medical team will advocate certain treatments, but they will also seek your input.

They will recommend a plan based on:
- Stage of cancer and whether or not it has spread
- Type of cancer, and status of the estrogen, progesterone, or HER2/neu receptors found in the cancer cells
- Your age, health, and menstrual/menopausal stage
- And whether or not this is your first cancer treatment

In general, there are five treatment options, and most treatment plans include a combination of the following:
1) Surgery
2) Radiation
3) Hormone Therapy
4) Chemotherapy
5) Targeted Therapies

Some are local, targeting just the area around the tumor with surgery or radiation. Others are systemic, targeting your whole body with cancer-fighting agents such as chemotherapy.

Most women receive a combination of treatments, but each case is unique, and your medical team will work to find the most effective treatment for you.

Getting A Second Opinion
Even so, you may find yourself second-guessing their recommendations or suggested treatment plan. If you’re hesitant for any reason, you should get the opinion of another doctor before beginning treatment. Your doctor will not mind if you want a second opinion; some insurance plans even require it.

Again, don’t hesitate to ask your medical team questions. When it comes to getting a second opinion, you are your own best advocate.

Related Questions

  • Thumb avatar default

    Does anyone have any advice or suggestions for treating a headache? I had my first of four AC treatments Thursday and there's been a nonstop headache since then.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • vicki e Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Ask your doc for something for the headaches if OTC stuff is not working. Some chemos cause that side effect and if so, the OTC stuff may not work. Don't suffer through it. You don't want to do that and your chemo team doesn't either, so ask. Also be sure to drink lots of fluids because...

      more

      Ask your doc for something for the headaches if OTC stuff is not working. Some chemos cause that side effect and if so, the OTC stuff may not work. Don't suffer through it. You don't want to do that and your chemo team doesn't either, so ask. Also be sure to drink lots of fluids because dehydration will contribute to headaches as well. Good luck to u

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Sometimes it is the anti nausea meds. I was so worried about nausea that I think I took too much of the anti nausea stuff which causes the headache. Try to back off from the ... Can't remember the name. Gas... Something in a green packet. Bad headaches with that one.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    How long does it take to start feeling normal again? I finished chemo 8 days ago and thought I would start feeling better by now, but I actually feel worse. Is this common?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Be patient, even though it's tough. Your body has been through a lot and the fatigue builds up. It'll need time to recover. I finished in September and only have lingering fatigue (from radiation too), but not 100% and I'm in my 30s and very active. Hang in there. And congrats on finishing...

      more

      Be patient, even though it's tough. Your body has been through a lot and the fatigue builds up. It'll need time to recover. I finished in September and only have lingering fatigue (from radiation too), but not 100% and I'm in my 30s and very active. Hang in there. And congrats on finishing chemo! Great milestone! I'm 6 days away from 1 year survivorship

      1 comment
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      This happened to me as well. Give your body time to heal. One person gave me the advice that "getting back to normal" may take as long as treatment was. I healed sooner than that, but it gave me mental strength to just give my body more time. I also had a hard time "forgetting " cancer after...

      more

      This happened to me as well. Give your body time to heal. One person gave me the advice that "getting back to normal" may take as long as treatment was. I healed sooner than that, but it gave me mental strength to just give my body more time. I also had a hard time "forgetting " cancer after going through surgery, chemo and radiation. I am happy to say that after 1 and 1/2 years post treatment, I feel free of the negative weight cancer was in my life. So hang in there. Someday you too will be on the other side of this and you will look back at your strength and feel that you are stronger than ever.

      Comment
  • Brett Connors Profile

    When will hair grow back after treatment?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    over 8 years 3 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Brett I just finished my chemo last month. I had 4 rounds of Adriamiacin/Cytoxin followed by 4 dose dense rounds of Taxol. My hair started growing back around my last chemo treatment. It's about an inch long now. :)

      1 comment
    • Adrienne private Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3C Patient

      I finished chemo middle of June. I did 12 weekly Taxol chemos and 3 Taxetere doses. My hair started coming back about a month after chemo ended, like fuzz. I also got white long hairs, double the length of my others, but those fell out! Several other women got those white hairs too, even on face,...

      more

      I finished chemo middle of June. I did 12 weekly Taxol chemos and 3 Taxetere doses. My hair started coming back about a month after chemo ended, like fuzz. I also got white long hairs, double the length of my others, but those fell out! Several other women got those white hairs too, even on face, but they fall out, so no need to freak. My hair is now about half an inch, thicker on top, thinner in back. The rest of body hair all grew back too, and I am shaving again. My eyebrows are about 2/3rds back. My eyelashes started coming back in September. I lost eyelashes even after chemo ended.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Anyone have trouble with the skin on their feet after chemo? It's \ calloused and cracked. Winter feet only 10x worse! I've done a pedi and other things...just wondering if anyone had this issue and if it's chemo related. I finished in March.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2011
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 3B Patient

      Yes! I have used everything and nothing works ;( my feet have never been so dry before. I finished my chemo may 8 .

      1 comment
    • Patricia Stoop Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yup - and mine ate months later. Toenails awful still too. More often using foot files after shower or bath. I also use a moisturing foot butter stick made in Canada. You could go to the pharmacist and ask for a good diabetic foot cream (they usually contain urea to slough dead skin)

      Comment

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